Questions about becoming or tutoring a game master (GM). Not for just "I am a new GM": see the full tag wiki for important usage notes.

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8
votes
3answers
680 views

AD&D 1e and “Skill Checks”

I've been reading the Quick Primer for Old School Gaming and I have found it enlightening, to say the least. One of the issues it brings up is the use of skill checks to determine whether or not ...
3
votes
2answers
15k views

Free Pathfinder low-level urban adventures?

Are there online some free adventures that I can download as .pdf? (Not piratery, just free adventures.) I'm a new GM and I'd like to read some professional adventures to see how they work. I need a ...
22
votes
5answers
1k views

Learning to use spells comfortably

I'm hoping to get a little but of advice. You see, I've been running Rise of the Runelords, although the fact that I'm using Pathfinder probably isn't too relevant. Point is, I'm relatively new to ...
7
votes
4answers
1k views

Is there a better way to run a “rules light” or “beginner” D&D 4th edition game?

I've been attempting to play 4E with my two kids for a while now. I've had some false starts trying to run very simple adventures partly due to lack of DM experience/prep time (demanding job for Dad) ...
20
votes
7answers
1k views

How to guide a new DM through his first game (as an experienced DM turned player)?

How can I guide and help a new DM through his first campaign (being an experienced DM myself) without having it look like a grab for power or that I think the new DM is incompetent?
7
votes
4answers
822 views

How to teach 5 people how to be a DM

My school started this RPing club, but in my school right now only 2 people know how to DM and do it effectively, including me. As the teacher running the club knows nothing about Pathfinder, it seems ...
3
votes
0answers
126 views

Running Large Groups [duplicate]

In a few months I'm going to be taking control of a group and running through a campaign of my own creation. The campaign we're running right now only has 3 PCs and the DM, so a fairly small group. ...
2
votes
5answers
499 views

How many creatures should face a party of 6 PCs?

I am going to DM for the first time. The group of players is 6 people. I have no clue on how many creatures I should make them face. For example, a group of 2 people would face about 3-5 bugbears but ...
12
votes
5answers
1k views

Differences Between Freeform and Rules-heavy Roleplay

I am a relatively new DM...okay I actually haven't ever RUN a campaign. The closest I have come to was running a short, 2-encounter dungeon against Manticores and a Raksasha that summoned a Grey ...
4
votes
3answers
2k views

What do I need to keep running D&D after finishing the Red Box?

I recently got the Red Box (Essential 4e Starter Kit or whatever it's called) and have played through the adventure with some friends. I have no idea what I need now – specifically, what books ...
45
votes
4answers
3k views

How to get my Paranoia players to stop cooperating and start killing each other?

I've read some of the questions and answers on paranoia here, but I seem to be missing some kind of key element to play. I ran Robot IMANA-665-C and I didn't seem to be able to get the players to ...
2
votes
0answers
64 views

Beginner Friendly game for my friends and I. (No experienced GM) [duplicate]

My three friends and I are very interested in playing Table-top rpg's but we're having some trouble getting started. We're looking for a pretty beginner friendly game that doesn't require an ...
18
votes
10answers
2k views

My friends and I are new to RPGs and need a system I can DM and they can pick up. Suggestions? [closed]

My friends and I are trying to get into tabletop RPGs but have ran into some difficultly finding a system/setting that fits. We gave Eclipse Phase a shot but found it to have a pretty high barrier to ...
7
votes
1answer
4k views

Easy to GM Harry Potter RPG [closed]

I have a friend who's not very interested in playing RPGs, but he's a Harry Potter nut. Is there a decent (probably fan-made, I've heard that an official HPRPG is unlikely) system that is easy for a ...
12
votes
2answers
531 views

How can I work on my improvisation skills in regards to running a campaign?

I'm writing a campaign for 3.5 at the moment and, as a new DM, it's been hard for me to decide what I need to write now, and what I'll need to write later. Because it's going to be my first campaign ...
1
vote
1answer
8k views

Looking for a short and relatively easy campaign to run as a beginner DM [closed]

I'm relatively new to playing Pathfinder and D&D --only a couple of months-- and the group I play with wants everyone to DM at least one or two sessions so everyone gets a chance to play. Can ...
3
votes
0answers
91 views

What should a new GM know when starting their first Paranoia game? [duplicate]

I am a new relatively new GM (under a year's experience) and have only run/played Pathfinder. For this I have lots of resources: the beginner's box and its GM and player manuals, pawns, play-mat and ...
9
votes
5answers
20k views

Newbie starting first D&D campaign

My friends want to play D&D and they expect me to be the GM; since none of us has ever played before, their wanting to keep playing or not pretty much depends on me. I have bought the Player's ...
3
votes
0answers
81 views

Can anyone teach a new player to play Pathfinder? [duplicate]

I have the core book and the Bestiary 2. My brother gave them to me but I've never found time to sit and learn how to play by myself.
19
votes
5answers
649 views

How do I tell how long my adventure is going to be?

I'm a new DM starting a campaign I've written myself. I have a party of 4 players right now- three have been playing for years, one has never played before. My problem is I'm not sure how to tell how ...
13
votes
4answers
1k views

How do I start DMing a new game after the Red Box?

I finished playing the D&D beginners Red Box with my friends. Now how do I start DMing another game? Where do I go from here?
20
votes
6answers
4k views

I'm fairly new to D&D but want to GM; where do I go from here?

I'm a 16-year-old male, and I have been interested in tabletop RPGs for a long time, especially D&D. I sorta dove into D&D really fast and hard by buying the Red box, Dungeon Master Kit, ...
5
votes
4answers
975 views

3 novices, 1 Warhammer Fantasy. How do I make sure my friends don't have a bad first experience?

I recently convinced my friends to try out a table-top RPG. Now, being an almost complete novice to table-top RPGs, and adding the fact that I will have to take point and GM this campaign... Is there ...
15
votes
9answers
779 views

Does GMing diminish or detract from being a player in games? [closed]

I started playing RPGs last year with the Pathfinder Beginner Box. I have been GMing and writing a campaign, but have also encouraged members of the party that are interested to run a one-off Beginner ...
4
votes
0answers
118 views

I am a novice, so are my friends. What should we start out with? [duplicate]

Lately I've been wanting to get into the whole table top RPG scene. I briefly played Dungeons & Dragons with very little understanding of the game; it was rather fun, even if it was over Skype. I ...
7
votes
5answers
2k views

Good games for inexperienced players and GMs?

I have been the GM for my little circle of friends for a few months. We are having trouble finding an RPG system to be comfortable with. On my part, I seem to be unable to settle on any particular ...
5
votes
1answer
4k views

What to buy to start out 4e D&D (DM and PC) (Complete Noob, no previous experience) [duplicate]

So we're a completely new group of people, none of us have experience, and I've been assigned DM, which I think is a good idea. But we don't know where to start, or what to buy to get started on our ...
4
votes
3answers
166 views

Should house rules and custom material be created before experiencing the game? [closed]

Let's take a new GM. New in the sense of "new to a specific game", not new to GMing. The GM read all the rules from cover to cover and he understands them, but never played. Should he start house ...
39
votes
8answers
8k views

How do I learn to become a good GM?

I have played and tried to GM games since I was in elementary school, beginning with games like Shadowrun, Earthdawn, and Champions. Recently, I've gotten dack into gaming with a variety of other ...
8
votes
2answers
592 views

How much, and what kind of, advance planning is appropriate for a sandbox campaign?

New GM attemping to get ideas for a campaign down something similar to a tabletop fallout game. How much info is too much info for general prep? Can there ever be too much? Or is there a general ...
4
votes
3answers
848 views

DM going from D&D 3.5e to AD&D 1st edition [closed]

I recently purchased the following seven AD&D books: Player Handbook, Monster Manual, Dungeon Master's Guide, Fiend Folio, Monster Manual 2, Unearthed Arcana, and. Deites and Demigods. Based on ...
1
vote
2answers
1k views

Good RPG System/Game/style for just a single DM and single Player? [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: 1 GM and 1 Player games and game systems? I am looking for a system or style of play (or even contained game/game module) which would be fun for just one player---myself ...
40
votes
6answers
2k views

Should I do something about slow pace in my inexperienced group?

Last night we played our first RPG (ever!) and I'm not sure if it went well. The game was Deathwatch and the basic story was to find someone. There were three possible places where he could be; then ...
9
votes
3answers
465 views

As a complete newcomer - what do I have to look out for? [closed]

I just orderer the D&D Red Box 4th edition. I plan to play it with my GF and maybe I can convince my flat mate as well. None of us has any experience playing Pen and Paper games (I have Baldur's ...
13
votes
5answers
2k views

How to deal with intimidating amount of rules in Shadowrun

I started to read about Shadowrun as a setting and I'm currently reading the rules and they are really intimidating. There's a lot to know as a player since every aspect of the game as it's own set of ...
20
votes
4answers
864 views

I have read the D&D PHB but am still having trouble grasping some of the basics, how can I learn more?

With credit to one of the more experienced members on the site, mxyzplk, I thought I'd ask where noobs like me should ask or find answers to basic questions about Dungeons & Dragons mechanics if ...
13
votes
6answers
7k views

Choosing DnD 4th edition or Essentials for a new group and DM? [closed]

Recently I've got interested in roleplaying. My background is more or less hardcore boardgamer, I have played quite a large number of board games, even some of the most complicated ones and found it ...
7
votes
1answer
211 views

Would the adventures in the Black Bag Jobs be a good starting point?

Were I new to GMing, would the the adventures in the Black Bag Jobs Laundry supplement be good as starting points or should I look elsewhere?
9
votes
3answers
471 views

New GM to a Laundry RPG game [closed]

What should a new (and not so experienced) GM watch out for when starting to run a game set in Charles Stross's Laundry universe? Note that all this could be applied to a Call Of Cthulhu game as well ...
7
votes
3answers
385 views

What do I need to make a campaign?

I am a sorta newbie DM (been playing for about 5 months) and I have a couple dungeons. So is that all I need to make a campaign? I have about 6-8 friends that I play with every week, but they are ...
22
votes
10answers
4k views

How to introduce a pen-and-paper RPG to family?

My brother and I have dabbled in D&D when we were younger. Also, at the last place where I worked, we had a weekly Pathfinder game session, which was fun. Usually at our family get-togethers my ...
8
votes
6answers
431 views

Do I have to map out villages or outside areas?

Do I have to make a map of areas outside of my dungeons? For instance, a village or forest? Does the context of the Dungeon have to be mapped?
6
votes
3answers
520 views

Help with some ideas for a campaign [closed]

Okay, so I am a relatively new GM. I've started running the Road Trip campaign for Monsters and Other Childish things for my group. I thought I'd run a one night one-shot Halloween themed campaign for ...
12
votes
0answers
311 views

As a GM, how can I create and role-play diverse NPCs better? [duplicate]

I am new to GMing (and role-playing in general, for that matter) and I am having a somewhat difficult time making plausible and interesting NPCs. This is especially true with NPCs who are not "typical ...
10
votes
4answers
277 views

Do I need to stat out & measure everything?

I am preparing a session that contains a fair amount of absurdity. Many of the creatures and situations that my players will encounter will probably not be encountered again. On the one hand, I know ...
21
votes
4answers
833 views

Transitioning from GM to Player; or how to recover from GM burnout

A few months ago, I reached the point of "GM burnout." Having been (almost) the exclusive GM for our group for several years, and seeing the number of players and their commitment dwindle combined ...
16
votes
9answers
2k views

How do I deal with an experienced player who doesn't interact well with my group?

My group and I just migrated from a DM whose very incongruent storytelling and deliberate punishment of non-hack & slay-solutions scared us off. We (mostly) kept our characters (since they are our ...
6
votes
3answers
1k views

What are the most important errata for a new D&D 4E group?

I plan to start a new D&D 4E game soon. None of us have played before and we'll be starting at level 1. Are there any important errata that I should know about and inform my players? I know there ...
16
votes
3answers
2k views

What is all the backstory in an Adventure Path for if the players never see it?

I'm new to tabletop RPGs (although I have been interested for a long time, just had difficulty finding like-minded companions, and the funds required to get some of the stuff). When I was finally ...
15
votes
7answers
5k views

Starting the first game tips? [closed]

I was wondering if anyone had any tips on how to start our very first session. Everyone, counting the DM, has yet to play the game and we are not exactly sure were to start. Our PCs are: Drow ...